We realize there's only so much time one can spend in a day watching new trailers, viral video clips, and shaky cell phone footage of people arguing on live television. This is why every day The Atlantic Wire highlights the videos that truly earn your five minutes (or less) of attention. Today: The Pentagon robotic cheetah sets a robot speed record, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson share a forced tender moment while watching the Los Angeles Kings, and an alternative to pre-roll ads.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (aka, DARPA), the Pentagon's highly-visible research shop, claims their new robot -- the adorably nicknamed Cheetah -- shattered the "speed record for legged robots"by reaching speeds of 18 mph on a laboratory treadmill. Which doesn't seem all that fast, until you remember the project's ultimate goal is to create a robot capable of reaching speeds of 70 mph and that, should you ever find yourself chased by one, you will be on foot. [Danger Room and DARPA]
Poor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. All they wanted to do Saturday night was watch the Los Angeles Kings play in peace, and they found themselves on the Kiss Cam, that most barbaric of in-stadium time fillers. Unlike the majority of citizens, who can just fumble around awkwardly until the camera turns to someone else, Hanks and Wilson are public figures with friendly reputations to protect. So they kissed on cue, which was very sporting of them, but what a way to ruin a celebrity couple's night. [NHL.com via Puck Daddy]
The ads that play before online videos are frustrating, but probably necessary, if we want this whole Internet thing to make it. Solve Media is offering an intriguing alternative, whereby you type a "branding phrase" and get taken straight to your video. It's a little involved and you can always just fill the current 30 seconds by doing something else, but it's a concept that has value if you want to see what you see when you want to see it, and also if your computer has a bad habit of freezing up during pre-roll messages, the way that ours does. [AllThingsD]
It's much, much longer than our five minute usual, but the staged reading Saturday of 8, Dustin Ian Black's dramatization of the Proposition 8 trial, featured the likes of George Clooney, John C. Reilly, Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, Jane Lynch and Jesse Tyler Ferguson is worth a look, if only to see how uncomfortable screen stars can look on the stage, even when they have scripts and aren't required to move. [AmericanEqualRights]